Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Cicero Central Railroad

Edward Kwiatkowski posted
(Shortlines) Ed's comment:

Chicago's newest shortline railroad the Cicero Central.
Owned by Watco Incorporated, this terminal railroad is
approximately one mile long, operating south of West
39th Street / Pershing Road...between South Cicero
and Central Avenues, utilizing a portion of the CN's
former Illinois Central / Chicago & Illinois Western
Railroad branch line.
This railroad mainly switches the Koppers Chemical Refinery in west suburban Cicero Illinois.
Ed also has this and some more pictures on Flickr. Ed's comment said CERR owns the railroad. Actually, it is leasing it from CN. (WATCO) I assume it has trackage rights on the CN track that goes north to Hawthorne Junction to interchange with CN's east/west mainline. But it has to use what was Manufacturer's Junction trackage to do that interchange. OmniTrax still says it owns that part.

It is a Class III railroad because it projects that its annual income will be less than $5 million. (Office of the Federal Register [US]) Progressive Railroading has some PR statements from the press release. I wonder who switches the other industries that is on the CERR line, including the Stickney Water Reclamation Plant.

Fortunately, Doug Kaniuk's Facebook posting is in a public group, so I have removed the copy I had made because you should be able to follow the link and see the comments that have been added. In particular, Doug now has a web posting.

Update: answers in this posting are of interest:
Jacob Metzger Koppers is served by Cicero Central, a Watco property. Two WSOR MP15's for power.
Ele is served by CN, and then the other tracks that lead to the massive concrete pools are Chicago Sanitary District.

Ramon Rhodes The ex-SF McCook industrial branch which served UOP, US Ink, Pielet Bros., Akzo-Nobel chemical, and US Cold Storage has been pulled up and the chemical plant was closed and demolished.

Edward Kwiatkowski posted
The Cicero Central Railroad at work, switching
the Koppers Chemical Company.
Stickney Illinois. August 2017
Doug Kaniuk info: http://casr.dhke.com/casr275.htm

Neil Capian posted two photos with the comment:
2nd July 2019. Skirting around the stickney water reclamation place looking for the main gate, we found these two Wisconsin Southern liveried locos 1597 and 1596 switching. A quick research suggested this was Koppers plant and indeed a Watco company called Cicero Central RR does indeed switch here and interchange with CN.


Zaky commented on Neil's post
Neat little railroad

Joe Usselman posted
A couple Cicero Central MP15's in WSOR paint shoving some tank cars around a little known area in Stickney on the old Chicago & Illinois Western last year.
John Morelli Yeah we took over for CN(I work for the CERR/watco) the rumor is that CN was breaking too many rules on koppers property. I have a feeling it’s just bc watco is cheaper to contract out for switching than CN.John Gardner I used to switch koppers when i was working for cn
It was a crappy switch
John Morelli yeah it’s pretty shitty location to switch cars and our lists from koppers make no sense how they want it spotted. But it’s a good place to get your feet wet in the railroad industry learning how to switch cars around all day.

Jose Wolfman Guillen posted
How often do trains run across Cicero here at 40th and Cicero (between I-55 and Pershing Rd.)? I got caught by a train Wednesday night pulling tanker cars into the Citgo Petroleum site there and was almost late to work because of it. My coworkers at Midway who live near and/or pass through here regularly said they can't ever recall seeing a train crossing here (some of them have been driving through here daily for 30+ years).

If there's a scheduled run, can someone please let me know? I'd love to not only avoid it, but maybe get a photo or video of it sometime.
[Street View]
Fred Van Dorpe Usually around 6 to 8 PM westbound, CN unit will drop the loads just East of Koppers, Koppers unit will come out East switch, pick up the loads and go back into the plant, then CN unit will hook onto the empties that Koppers left out on the CIW [now this Cicero Central], then head back East to Hawthorne yard around 20 minutes later. I think its weekdays only.
Then there's only one (maybe 3) other business on the CIW, Google maps calls it Ele corporation, as far as I know it's extremely hard to catch. Very few have caught CN serving them and from the photos ive seen, they get served on Tuesdays sometime during the day. I really need to try and bag that job. The possible second business is a transformer lot owned by some electric company. They may or may not move a big transformer once in very rare while. Like extremely rare. No one to my knowledge has caught it. The third business is the shit railroad of course. They don't interchange anything with outside railroads, but there switch is still there connecting to the CIW in case they ever do need something interchanged? Who knows. Ive spent quite some time researching the line and talking to people about it. Hopefully this info helps.

A CN train delivering a train of loads.
Jacob Diorio posted
R944 creeps across Cicero Ave in Chicago on former Chicago & Illinois Western trackage.

3 photos of a MP15AC switching Kopppers

1 comment:

  1. https://www.stb.gov/filings/all.nsf/ba7f93537688b8e5852573210004b318/b4e06c5c58f7957185257ee300719286/$FILE/239383.pdf